Keep dogs safe from Easter chocolates
Easter doesn’t just cause havoc on waistlines; it’s also a potential death trap for dogs.
I’m always reminding Kiwis to keep any chocolate treats well out of reach of their pets – especially around this time of the year.
Chocolate consumption can be toxic for dogs, with the potential to cause serious illness and even death if too much is eaten.
Easter is one of the riskiest times for family dogs when stashes of chocolate are ‘within paws’ reach’ and vets traditionally see a notable increase in the number being treated.
So why is something so delicious also potentially so harmful for man’s best friend?
Chocolate contains theobromine which causes a happy feeling in humans and has a similar effect to caffeine.
But it is toxic to animals, especially dogs.
Dark chocolate is the most dangerous due to its high levels of theobromine (compared to white chocolate) and poisoning is more likely in smaller dogs because toxicity levels are determined by weight.
Theobromine is also poisonous to cats though felines rarely consume chocolate.
Your pet is unlikely to tell you that it’s been a naughty pup so it’s important for every dog owner to be aware of the symptoms of canine chocolate consumption.
Look out for hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors or seizures and take your dog to a vet immediately if it displays these signs.
It’s rare but poisoning can result in respiratory failure or cardiac arrest if untreated.
It is also worth remembering that dogs don’t bother unwrapping the eggs first and are likely to swallow the foil as well, so any missing eggs could possibly have been eaten.
The absolute best thing you can do is keep chocolate away from your dog; it’s tempting enough for adults but for dogs it’s irresistible.
Here’s what to do if your dog consumes chocolate:
Contact your vet to see the amount consumed potentially poisonous.
A 200gm Easter egg generally has enough theobromine to be toxic to a 10kg dog, while a 100g Easter bunny could poison a 5kg dog.
Your vet may wish to induce vomiting if your dog isn’t showing any clinical signs and it has been less than an hour or two since ingestion.
In severe cases your pet may require blood tests, seizure control and intravenous fluids. if is
Don’t be tempted to give him chocolate – it could be the last treat he ever has.